- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Ketara Chapel and Morgan William each scored 17 points in No. 9 Mississippi State’s 78-65 victory over Southern Miss on Wednesday night.

Dominique Dillingham added 15 points for the Bulldogs (8-1). Chinwe Okorie had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Victoria Vivians scored 10 points.

Mississippi State led 43-34 at the half, and opened a 20-point advantage in the second.

“I knew they’d come in and compete,” Bulldogs coach Vic Schaefer said. “I was proud of our team coming out of the locker room (in the second half) and getting up 20. It was a hard fought, tough game.”

Chapel had her most points since scoring a career-high 19 last season against West Virginia.

“I was just being aggressive,” Chapel said. “Coach has been on me about being aggressive, going to the basket and finishing.”

She was 6 for 8 from the field and had seven rebounds and seven steals.

“I’m really proud of Ketara. She came to play tonight,” Schaefer said. “Tonight was her night and she really played well. I was proud of her aggressiveness. She’s really played well.”

Jerontay Clemons led Southern Miss (6-3) with 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting, and Brittanny Dinkins had 18 before fouling out. The Eagles had won five straight.

“Boy, their guards are tough,” Schaefer said. “Clemons and Dinkins lit us up and we didn’t have an answer.”

The Bulldogs shot 46 percent and converted 17 turnovers into 28 points.

TIP-INS:

Southern Miss: Clemons was two points shy of tying her career high set a season ago against Florida International. She has scored 17 or more points in each of the last three games.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have won 41 of their last 43 regular-season nonconference games. They have won four straight against Southern Miss and eight of the last nine.

UP NEXT:

Mississippi State heads to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Puerto Rico Classic. The Bulldogs play Florida Gulf Coast on Friday.

Southern Miss travels to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a matchup with North Carolina on Saturday.

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